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John Scalzi's call for matching funds proves a bounty for Strange Horizons

August 15, 2009 | 10:58 am

Saturnrings_nasa  John Scalzi, Hugo Award-winning author of "Old Man's War," has maintained his blog Whatever for more than a decade. And with that consistency comes a faithful following that's willing to put its money where its reading habits lie.

On Friday, Scalzi posted that he'd match up to $500 in donations to the speculative fiction online magazine Strange Horizons, a nonprofit, which was in the midst of a monthlong fund drive to raise $7,000.

From the time that Scalzi's call went out until the editors tallied the take 27 hours later, his readers  donated a whopping $9,590. With the donation from Scalzi and his wife, the Scalzi-drive totaled more than $10,000, exceeding the fund-raising goal by more than $3,000. Scalzi blogs:

I am thrilled and overwhelmed by your generosity, -- but I’m not surprised. Not surprised for two reasons: Because I know that so many of you know a good deal and a good cause when you see it, and because Strange Horizons does what it does well and thereby legitimately deserves the support you’ve given it....all together and there’s the inescapable conclusion that each and every one of you rock.

The fund drive will remain open until the end of the month -- there are prizes involved, and T-shirts and mugs and things -- but editor Susan Marie Groppi is extremely pleased to have met the fund-raising goal. "I’m totally overwhelmed by the generosity all of you have shown," she wrote, "and totally scared for what might happen if Scalzi ever decides to use his powers for evil."

But Scalzi would never turn to the dark side and become a super-villain -- would he?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: imaging of Saturn's rings from Cassini spacecraft radio data. Credit: NASA/JPL

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